Yes, you heard me right!  Size matters!  The size of the price tag, the size of the square footage and the size of what you are able to afford!


I have been seeing a lot about tiny rentals and for-purchase places in Vancouver lately and how small they are, with still a rather hefty price tag.   Take this for example:  a CLOSET rental for $550 per month



Please don't misunderstand, I am NOT suggesting that everyone go out and rent a closet in downtown Vancouver or the West End.  What I AM suggesting is that you weigh your options.  If you are in the market for an affordable home, often a small drive out of the city makes things much more affordable.


For example, acreage in Surrey ... or a beautiful home on a green belt in Abbotsford (for under $600,000!).  You see, there are ample opportunites to own and still have ROOM to move around!


For more of what I can provide for you, please visit my blog here, or come and visit me on Facebook here! I am here to be of service and help you get into the home of your dreams!


Because YOU Deserve the BEST!



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In February, BCREA welcomed the provincial government’s assistance for first-time homebuyers.




Effective February 19, 2014, the Property Transfer Tax (PTT) exemption threshold under the First Time Home Buyers’ Program increased to $475,000 from $425,000. The government estimates that about 1,700 first-time buyers will benefit this year, saving an average of $4,000 (and up to $7,500).


This news demonstrates the government’s recognition of the housing affordability challenges in BC. It also aligns well with the concerns of REALTORS®, who consistently rate the PTT as their top public policy priority.


The PTT applies to real estate transactions at a rate of 1% on the first $200,000 and 2% on the remaining fair market value. BCREA has lobbied against the PTT since it was introduced in 1987. More information about BCREA’s public policy position is available at


Till next time ...


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Here are a collection of famous quotations from some of the leaders in investing, business, and finance. These quotes give excellent insight into real estate, investing in real estate, property development,  and the values of owning real estate or buildings:

“Owning a home is a keystone of wealth.. both financial affluence and emotional security”. –Suze Orman


“It’s tangible, it’s solid, it’s beautiful. It’s artistic, from my standpoint, and I just love real estate.” – Donald Trump


“Every day, you’ll have opportunities to take chances and to work outside your safety net. Sure, it’s a lot easier to stay in your comfort zone.. in my case, business suits and real estate.. but sometimes you have to take risks. When the risks pay off, that’s when you reap the biggest rewards.” – Donald Trump


“Well, real estate is always good, as far as I’m concerned.” – Donald Trump


“I made a tremendous amount of money on real estate. I’ll take real estate rather than go to Wall Street and get 2.8 percent. Forget about it.” –Ivan Trump


“I always felt very secure and very safe with real estate. Real estate always appreciates.” –Ivan Trump


“Ninety percent of all millionaires become so through owning real estate.”-Andrew Carnegie


“The major fortunes in America have been made in land.”-John D. Rockefeller


“I would give a thousand furlongs of sea for an acre of barren ground.”-Shakespeare


“The small landholders are the most precious part of a state.”-Thomas Jefferson


“He is not a full man who does not own a piece of land.”-Hebrew Proverb


“Landlords grow rich in their sleep.”-John Stuart Mill


“Buying real estate is not only the best way, the quickest way, the safest way, but the only way to become wealthy.” -Marshall Field


“The best investment on Earth is earth.”-Louis Glickman, American business executive


“Buy on the fringe and wait. Buy land near a growing city! Buy real estate when other people want to sell. Hold what you buy!”-John Jacob Astor


“Every person who invests in well-selected real estate in a growing section of a prosperous community adopts the surest and safest method of becoming independent, for real estate is the basis of wealth.”-Theodore Roosevelt


“Land monopoly is not only monopoly, but it is by far the greatest of monopolies; it is a perpetual monopoly, and it is the mother of all other forms of monopoly.”-Winston Churchill


“Real estate cannot be lost or stolen, nor can it be carried away. Purchased with common sense, paid for in full, and managed with reasonable care, it is about the safest investment in the world.”-Franklin D. Roosevelt


“Real estate is an imperishable asset, ever increasing in value. It is the most solid security that human ingenuity has devised. It is the basis of all security and about the only indestructible security.”-Russell Sage


“I have always liked real estate; farm land, pasture land, timber land and city property. I have had experience with all of them. I guess I just naturally like ‘the good Earth,’ the foundation of all our wealth.”-Jesse H. Jones, former federal government financier


“Buy real estate in areas where the path exists…and buy more real estate where there is no path, but you can create your own.”-David Waronker


“A man complained that [on] his way home to dinner he had every day to pass through that long field of his neighbor’s.  I advised him to buy it, and it would never seem long again.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson


“The best investment on earth is earth.”-Louis Glickman


“It is a comfortable feeling to know tht you stand on your own ground.  Land is about the only think that can’t fly away.”-Anthony Trollope


“My own recipe for world peace is a bit of land for everyone.”-Gladys Taber


“There have been few things in my life which have had a more genial effect on my mind than the possession of a piece of land.”-Harriet Martineau


“Energy efficiency should be on the priority list for all home improvement work these days. Canny builders will be able to provide homeowners with energy efficient measures which help them to save money and the planet.”–Sarah Beeny


“Don’t stretch yourself too much with a mortgage. Buy within your means.. it’s not worth the sleepless nights.” –Sarah Beeny


“At a time when all the other builders were selling homes with basements but without carports, we would sell homes without basements and with carports. This allowed us to provide a more appealing product at a lower price. In other words, we felt we would be giving customers greater value.” – Eli Broad


“In my experience, in the real-estate business past success stories are generally not applicable to new situations. We must continually reinvent ourselves, responding to changing times with innovative new business models”. – Akira Mori



Till next time ...


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[Reposted from]

By 2041 our population is forecast to grow by 1.2 million residents to 3.4 million, which will require more than 574,000 new housing units to be built, according to Metro Vancouver data. In single family neighbourhoods, cottage housing is a creative way to gently densify and create a more diverse housing stock.


Making new homes more affordable: cottage homes (story 1 of 2)

Why aren’t developers building cottage neighbourhoods?

Artist's rendering of Hollyburn Mews

"Land is not suitably zoned to allow it to happen,” says Michael Geller, an architect, planner and SFU adjunct professor.


Geller has spent the last five years getting approval to build Hollyburn Mews, a new development of nine cottage-style homes on three lots on Esquimalt Avenue at the westerly edge of Ambleside in West Vancouver. The project required a rezoning of the three lots and an amendment to West Vancouver’s Official Community Plan.


“For young couples buying their first home and for downsizing baby boomers and seniors, small homes like those proposed in Hollyburn Mews can be very appropriate,” explains Geller, noting that this type of development allows residents to live in higher density communities while still owning a detached home.


“While townhouse or apartment living can be attractive for many residents, I think many home buyers still like the amenities of a detached home without shared walls and with the additional privacy. This form of housing will always be popular.”

What can developers do to promote cottage homes?

To encourage local governments to rezone property for cottage developments, Geller recommends these actions:


1. Pictures tell the story: show councillors, city staff and residents pictures of what cottage developments look like. These projects are typically very attractive.


2. Build a demonstration project: if a variety of demonstration projects could be built in different parts of Metro Vancouver, in both urban and suburban locations, local residents could see them and better understand the benefits.


3. Review development cost charges (DCCs) and fees: builders of smaller homes are penalized because DCCs are usually fixed regardless of the size of the home. Depending on the municipality, a builder of a 1,000 square foot home on a smaller lot may pay the same DCCs as a builder of a more traditional home on a larger lot. Developers should encour-   age municipalities to set DCCs to encourage smaller homes in a higher density setting, not discourage them.


4. Provide a model zoning bylaw: currently cottage developments don’t easily fit into traditional zoning categories. Cottage developments are a hybrid between single family detached and multi-family homes. If developers provide model zoning bylaws, local governments will find this helpful.

A model zoning bylaw for cottage homes

The City of Langley, Washington adopted the Cottage Housing Development (CHD) code provision in 1995, the first of its kind to be implemented in the Pacific Northwest. The code permits 4 to 12 small, detached cottages on a site which would typically be developed with 2 to 6 large homes. Half the cottages can be no more than 800 square feet, and the other half 700 square feet on the first floor and no more than 975 square feet in total, including a second floor. Cottages must be adjacent to a common area and parking must be screened.

What can local governments do?

“There are two ways that municipalities can make it easier for denser developments,” explains Geller.


1. Municipalities can reduce the complex, costly and time consuming process it takes to rezone land to permit higher density, whether for small single family detached homes or multi-family housing.


2. Municipalities can reduce the cumulative costs of the various DCCs, and community amenity contributions and fees, which significantly add to the cost of housing.


Would a Cottage Home be of interest to you? 


Till next time ...


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The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) recorded 1,102 sales in February, an increase of 43 per cent over January’s sales and an increase of 21 per cent over the 913 sales during February of last year.


Ray Werger, President of the Board, says, “The last time we saw an improvement in the market this early in the year was two years ago when we ended up having a solid, steady market from February through to mid-summer. It’s too early to predict whether this year will be similar, but for now sales are up and the average number of days to sell a detached home is one week faster than it was in January.”


Werger adds, “Although sales have picked up, it’s important to mention that they’re still hovering about 10 per cent below our 10-year average and the increases in activity are specific to property type and location, so be sure to ask your REALTOR® how your home and neighbourhood compare.”


The Board posted 2,666 new listings last month, an increase of 3 per cent compared to the 2,582 posted during February of last year bringing the total number of active listings in February to 8,210 – 11 per cent more than were available in January and 8 per cent less than were available during February 2013.


Werger adds, “Generally, we’re finding for all property types if they’re priced right there is a buyer; however, demand for single family detached homes and townhomes is the most consistent with certain pockets in Langley, Abbotsford and North Delta that are thriving, which is why prices for detached homes in those areas are either on par or elevated compared to last year.


“Fraser Valley’s condo market, moderately busier in February, continues to favour buyers offering excellent opportunities due to higher levels of inventory and prices comparable to what they were eight years ago.”

In February, the benchmark price of single family detached homes in the Fraser Valley was $558,100, an increase of 3.2 per cent compared to $540,900 during the same month last year. For townhouses, the benchmark price was $298,900, an increase of 0.7 per cent compared to $296,700 in February 2013 and the benchmark price of apartments was $193,200, a decrease of 4.6 per cent compared to $202,500 in February 2013.


In February, it took on average 51 days to sell a detached home compared to 58 days in January. Townhomes took 55 days on average to sell compared to 60 days the month before and apartments spent an average of 70 days on the market in February compared to 86 days in January.


Find the February Statistics Package here.


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I'd like to introduce you to another portion of my life today, something you may not know about:




As part of this committee I want you to know that we are serving you, the buyers and sellers of the Fraser Valley area, and that our greatest focus is on the property purchase tax and other very important issues.



Please feel free to connect with me at 604.832.8229 if you have any questions about my involvement with this committee.


Till next time ...


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I'm at the Willowbrook Shopping Mall at the mall kiosk, where you can find me at least 2 or 3 times a week.  

I have a lot of Abbotsford clients that are trying to sell their properties in Abbotsford and this gives them double exposure because 200,000 people come through this mall a month!  



This is your opportunity to come by, ask for Michele Cartwright and I'll be able to show you properties that you can afford in the Abbotsford area.  For my sellers, great exposure because it allows them to get their listings out in front of other people too.



See more of my listings online here.


Because YOU Deserve the Best


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I have an amazing new listing in the West end of Abbotsford.  This spacious home overlooks a beautiful greenbelt and has these features:

  • 8 bedrooms
  • master ensuite with a soaker tub overlooking a green belt
  • 2 bedroom suite
  • close to all types of schools



This is an original owner home and is priced to sell at $579,900


Please give me a call today at 604-832-8229 for a viewing appointment or visit the MLS listing of this home here.


Because YOU Deserve the Best

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I have a beautiful new listing in the Port Kells / Surrey area.  Just shy of a 1 acre property set back off the beaten path; this is a 25 year old home cozy, warm feeling colonial style home with excellent freeway and shopping access.  It boasts pine floors and window casings, an insulated and heated shop with 220 power, among many other amazing qualities.





Please give me a call today at 604-832-8229 for a viewing appointment and view the full MLS listing here.



Because YOU Deserve the Best!


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This article by OPP Connect editor Adrian Bishop was originally posted on OPP Connect.


Prices and volumes in Canada’s two main cities are both rising, the latest figures show, boosted by the promise of spring and a more active market.


Volumes in Vancouver, British Columbia, rose by a healthy 40.8 percent year over year to 2,530 Greater Vancouver home sales on the multiple listing service, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV). The total was in line with the 10-year average.


The benchmark average price rose 3.2 percent annually to $609,100 (Canadian), the detached single-family homes fetching $932,900, up 3.5 percent year over year, says the MLS Home Price Index.


REBGV President Sandra Wyant says, “Homebuyer demand picked up in February, which is consistent with typical seasonal patterns in our housing market. We typically see homebuyers become more active in and around the spring months.”


One reason for the higher pricing could be that there are fewer homes on sale than last year, with 13,412 currently listed, down 9.3 percent from February 2013.



Total transactions in all major property types achieved impressive annual increases in volume.


Sales of detached properties in February 2014 reached 1,032, up 46.6 percent from 704 in February 2013, but down 6.3 percent from February 2012.


Sales of apartment properties reached 1,032, up 35.8 percent from last year and 1.2 percent from February 2012. The benchmark value rose 3.6 percent annually to $373,300.


Attached property sales in February 2014 totaled 466, up 39.9 percent from February 2013, and up 9.9 percent from February 2012. The benchmark price rose 0.6 percent year over year to $458,300.


The sales-to-active-listings ratio in Greater Vancouver is 18.9 percent, up a 4.9 percent from January 2014.


- See more at:


Till next time ...


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Honey Stop The Car!

Beautiful, Bright Custom Built Family Home situated in West Abbotsford on a private green belt with the privacy you have always wanted.



Over 4000 sqft of living this rare gem has so many wonderful features formal living,dining room, bright spacious kitchen with an ideal family room. 8 Bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 3 gas fire places, and perfect master bedroom with a delightful bright ensuite with a large soaker tub that looks out over the private back yard. PLUS lots of windows, PLUS 2 car garage, PLUS a 2 bdrm above ground bright suite, gas fireplace, PLUS dishwasher.




It's all about LOCATION!  This home is close to the New High Street Mall, Minutes from the Freeway, Schools, Recreation. Oh yes and did I mention Original Owners.


Just REDUCED to $579,900!

I would love to show this to you, give me a call today at 604-832-8229 for arrangements.

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